Summary: Resolving Conflicts Between People
Illustration:Anger is a divinely implanted emotion. Closely allied to our instinct for right, it is designed to be used for constructive spiritual purposes. The person who cannot feel anger at evil is a person who lacks enthusiasm for good. If you cannot hate wrong, it’s very questionable whether you really love righteousness.
Dr. David Seamands.
We never outgrow our tendency to be in conflict with one another. Conflicts may arise even among mature Christians like Barnabas and Paul. Paul and Barnabas disagreed so sharply over John Markâs credibility that they separated from one another. Paul judged Mark severely on the moral grounds that he was not mature enough to be a trustworthy missionary companion. Barnabas felt that Mark’s former desertion signaled his lack of loyalty to Paul and himself rather than to Christ. Often strong willed leaders like Paul have a difficult time forgiving those who have lapses of faithfulness to their leadership.
Barnabas tended to be more lenient as he was willing to grant clemency to Mark. When both leaders thought they were fighting for the Lord they were actually contending for themselves.
Ask the Lord to help you resolve conflicts in ways that bring the greatest glory to the Lord. Demonstrate the highest wisdom in respect to each personâs gifts, callings and spiritual maturity.
2. Christâs love triumphs over all conflicts when exercised through the power of the Holy Spirit. God used Paulâs sternness to bring Mark to a higher level of commitment. The Lord used Barnabasâ love to give Mark a sense of belonging and restoration. Without the Holy Spiritâs leading the harshness of a person like Paul degenerates into an abusive leadership and the kindness of Barnabas leads to a compromising softness in relationships.
Ask the Lord to help you find a way to help people become Spirit controlled so they are able to harness the good qualities of their God given personality.
3. Mark is able to grow in Christ likeness through this humiliating experience because he was willing to give missionary work a second chance. During the first missionary journey Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas for some unknown reason. Mark refused to get discouraged, distracted or disillusioned about missions or Christian leaders from one bad experience. Ask the Lord to allow you to learn from mistakes and become better from every situation instead of growing bitter, resentful and cynical.
4. The Lord powerfully used the separation of Paul and Barnabas to multiply the missionary enterprise. Learn to trust in the Lordâs ability to work all things together for HIS good as people love God and try to fit into His plans. (Rom. 8:28,29) Many people tend to forget that God is sovereign and is able to turn seeming tragedies into triumphs; defeats into victories; problems into opportunities; divisions into multiplications; humiliations into character building experiences.
Ask the Lord to help you to focus on Godâs miraculous promise to work ALL things together for good ö despite your human limited perceptions.